Wednesday, January 8, 2014

How To Remove The "Switch between apps" window In Windows 8.1

Hi! I've just been using a Windows 8.1 machine and losing my mind. I vowed never to use it until it was better designed (usually around Microsoft's 3rd or 4th attempt) after the very first frustrating experience I had with Windows 8, but I had to backtrack on that to test a piece of software I'm working on. I have noticed that although Windows 8.1 is slightly different, Microsoft has decided to maintain the interface from hell. I don't know why Microsoft thinks that people want to invest time in learning a new operating system when they have things to do.

The new rub for me now with Windows 8.1 was the right side Switch between apps menu that didn't want to disappear. I moved my mouse all over that little thing to get it to leave. It wouldn't. I switched to a different app and it popped up on the left side. I was starting to get annoyed. I moved my mouse over it, pressed Esc and laughed as it sat there on the screen mocking me. Finally, I decided to probe it with my mouse. It won't go anywhere if you just put your mouse over it. You actually have to put your mouse into the far left corner (if it popped up on the left) or the far right corner (if it popped up on the right) for it to go away. That is the dumbest thing I have ever seen in my life! 

Microsoft is a company with many brilliant people. They come up with great things from time to time. Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 should NOT be included as one of those great things. A few months back, I was on the Microsoft campus to do some testing for a Visual Studio add-in. Basically, they put you in a room and have you test out a product while you provide feedback. How on EARTH, did Windows 8 make it through that process? I don't understand. The product is COMPLETELY counter-intuitive for an operating system. I don't want a phone experience on my laptop! When I sit down to work, I don't want to perform unnatural movements to get things done. Do you know how much effort it takes to move my arm to touch my screen versus moving my wrist SLIGHTLY with my mouse to move something on the screen? I don't want to swipe and figure it out. In fact, I don't even like fingers ON my screen! I'm not alone! I also hate trying to figure out what something does. I like words - Open, Close, etc. I am against the idea of prearranged desktop icons. When I add a program to my computer and it adds an icon, I feel connected to that program and it's placement on the desktop because I ADDED IT. When I open Windows 8 and all of this crap is already staring at me, it just FEELS wrong because I didn't add that crap. I REALLY don't like the colors and styling of the interface either. I think it looks immature and cluttered. It may sound silly, but the way you set your computer up is an extension of you. Microsoft made the bet that people wanted a phone like experience across all devices. They were wrong. I have Windows 7 on every machine I do real business with. I have Windows 8 for those times when I need to make sure something I've created works on it. However, I have NO intention of upgrading unless I am absolutely forced to do so. NO INTENTION! I couldn't even imagine a system like Windows 8, with that horrible Metro interface, being used in an enterprise environment where people have to get things done quickly. You just don't have time to figure out why the pages keep swapping over each other when you are trying to get real work done. Windows 8 has been out for some time now and it has a very small adoption rate. I actually know people who purchased a Windows 8 laptop and then installed Windows 7 on it! What does that tell you?

I would love it if Microsoft gave users a CHOICE - stick with the dumb as rocks Metro interface OR use the Classic Windows 7 interface! They would really get to see how many people thought Windows 7 was just fine. Windows 8 wasn't an improvement over a design that was broken. It just wasn't. If they had focused more on the cloud and integration with your other devices and LESS on radically altering the entire interface, Windows 8 would have been a smashing success. Instead, just like with the ribbon in Office that sent me and others right into the arms of Google Docs and Open Office, they focused on styling TOO MUCH! Who made that choice? I bet it wasn't a real developer. It seems like something a marketing person would have thought of. Either way, I think it is just plain crazy. History may show me to be totally wrong, but given the fact that Windows 7 usage is still mighty high, I don't think so.

Anywho, to remove that annoying Switch between apps menu, just put your mouse in the nearest corner! Why didn't Microsoft make a little close icon on the pop-up? Counter-intuitive Microsoft - simply counter-intuitive.
This ends my rant for the day.



The "Switch between apps" pop up in Windows 8.1 will not go away.

Put your mouse into the corner of the pop up and it will disappear. If the pop up is in the far right corner, put your mouse into the top right corner of the pop up and it should disappear. If the pop up is in the far left, put your mouse into the top left corner and it should disappear. After you finish getting rid of that, go get a breath of fresh air.